Nondual Mindfulness

As we release our stories of aversion and attraction with nondual mindfulness, we meet the present moment with a lucid and gentle responsiveness. If we dare to look and surrender, or rather realize that we are already surrendered, we rise above the fictions we have created for ourselves. Then, we start to effortlessly love what is without expectation and encounter our infinite potential. This radical mindfulness is the moment-by-moment clarification and focusing of the mind; it’s a way of relating with the full scope of our experience through being mindful and broadening our spiritual “vision.” Being aware this way with nondual mindfulness, we realize that whatever is present has a rightful place for no other reason than because it already is here, whether the mind likes it or not!

Our potential, as the nondual Source, is always flowing through everything with no effort because it isn’t trying to become or reach a point; it just is. Think about the last time you were effortlessly involved in an activity—when you were “in the flow.” You could enthusiastically attend to whatever you were doing, even the mundane tasks. Maybe you even experienced a heightened sense of things, and perhaps lost all sense of time, too. To the degree that you’re aware of your natural ease, the seemingly insignificant things are seen to be unthinkably extraordinary. Likewise, even the things that we once labeled “undesirable” or “fearful” take on a fresh relevance.

When, with nondual mindfulness, our seeing is unconditional and receptive, we’re easily able to stay with whatever arises, even if there’s a passing superficial wish for things to be different. Without being dominant or distracting, that desire and any connected thoughts and feelings are purely part of what the greater order permits. Because we’re friendly with and interested in our experience, our Beingness accommodates the seeing.

You can be aware of your effortlessness now by giving attention to your breathing. Notice how the body knows exactly how to move and regulate the in and outflow of air. Neither strain nor effort is involved. Observe it, and you’ll get a sense that breathing happens by itself without “your” involvement. When thoughts arise, don’t follow them or identify with them, just let them go; the mind is following its own pattern, doing its own thing, and you can witness it and return your attention to your breath. You’re seeing without special effort; it just happens; you’re not even being the seer. This seeing and attending can apply to any happening—inside and outside the body-mind. Observe the spontaneity of your words, thoughts, and actions. Even control and will are spontaneous happenings. Whatever you can experience (internally or externally) you’re not limited to or restricted by. This includes your small sense of self along with its various components, habits, and qualities, and any other experience.

As you get familiar with and grounded in the essence of all experience—your essential Beingness—dispassion toward these expressions occurs spontaneously. This is an unforced letting go, not an intentional one. And as your preoccupation with the body-mind softens, you are united with your natural Self. This release of identification—which is completely normal, spontaneous, and actually inevitable—is true freedom. Just be, living life as it unfolds with radical mindfulness.

Idiocentric moods and patterns may continue to come and go, but we can allow ourselves to feel into them with detachment without telling stories about what they mean. This seeing invites spontaneous, intelligent, kindhearted action. Fortunately, once even a moment of clarity is allowed to shine, the eye of Awareness never fully closes. This shift in focus makes the mind clear; nothing has to change except our focus and attitude.

There is a life that lies beyond the laws of conditionality and linearity, beyond time and space, beyond the dualistic stories we tell ourselves. This is the meaning of nonduality. Woefully, we hide this life from view by guarding against the extinguishing of our individuality. We are that very life. You need only realize that none of the masks are your actual face to distinguish between the real (the unlimited) and the unreal (the limited). Facades aren’t needed. Thus, in nakedness, be radically mindful of your Self and you’ll rediscover your exquisite, original face, and renew your natural state of connectedness. This is the objective of mindfulness: to liberate us now, in our present-moment experience, from the illusion of separation, to reveal our true value and immensity, to, as the Buddha said, overcome our sorrow and lamentation.

From ‘Living the Life That You Are: Finding Wholeness When You Feel Lost, Isolated, and Afraid’ by Nic Higham

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